|How did you get into Risk Management? Undergraduate degree is Occupational Health and Safety Management, then internship in Industrial Hygiene and Safety Department at West Valley Nuclear Services – after that, 1995 started at Delaware North in Risk Control and expanded over the years into claim management and insurance administration. This led to Risk Manager, Director and then current position of Vice President.
What is your biggest challenge as a Risk Manager? Two Challenges, one internal and one external:
What is the most important skill for a Risk Professional? Communication! Communication is the key to building relationships. You cannot be successful without solid relationships within your own organization as well with your insurance program trading partners.
- Internal: Overcoming the label of “Risk Management will not let us do this – they will say no!” – This leads to operations making decisions or taking actions without Risk Management involvement and without the chance to transfer the risk. Over the my years as a Risk Manager, I seldom said no to an operational opportunity. However, I outlined the risk, provided Risk Control measures and advised the cost of risk transfer / absorption. Operations can then make an informed decision.
- External: Market conditions – as in today’s market, insureds are experiencing pricing corrections in many of the P&C and financial lines. Risk Managers are explaining to Sr. Mgmt. and their Boards that even with good experience and benign risks, there are low double digit rate increases for both 2019 and compounding into the 2020 renewals. Many times renewal results are an evaluation of a Risk Management program because the measurement of “what did not occur” (prevention) can be difficult to measure and explain.
What is one item you cannot live without? Unfortunately, it is my phone. This amazing piece of equipment allows me to keep up with the fast paced requirements and email traffic of Risk Management, allows me to manage my travel & expense reports, captures videos & photos, allows me to stay in touch with family and friends, keeps me busy (or entertained) while waiting for a flight, I can pay my bills and one more thing, you can even talk to someone on it too! I am way too dependent on it, but I think I’m the norm……
Who would you choose to do if you could switch places for a day? Probably my kids – they got it pretty good and think school is hard. Lol.
What is your favorite local restaurant? Fine Dining – hard to beat Tempo. Casual dining and drinks: Local has a nice selection. Lunch in the City - Eddie Brady’s, Lunch in the Southtowns - Schunk’s West Hill Grill.
Who inspires you? Men and Women in our Military. Sounds cliché, but it is true…. Especially the homecoming videos.
What’s the biggest risk you have taken? Changing employers after 24 years….. but I’m a risk manager, so I think I got this.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Don’t put anything in an email that you would not want on a highway bulletin board.
Know a very experienced Risk Manager? Or a Risking Risk Professional? We would love to feature them on our Member Spotlight! Reach out to the Chapter Secretary for more information.